Deirdre

Deirdre Jafferally

Iwokrama International Centre
Guyana

Capturing “Best Practices”

Field Report n°9

March 18, 2013

NRDDB COBRA Team visited four communities to begin capturing footage in their quest to document community best practices. The best practices being captured were under the system viability orientors of existence, resistance, flexibility and co-existence. These communities were visited from the 4th to 14th March, 2013.

Team meeting with community members in Apoteri

The first community to be visited was Rewa were the co-existence orientor was being captured looking at NRDDB’s relationship with the communities. The example being focused on was how with NRDDB’s help the community was utilising the opportunities presented in managing their fish resources the community was also boosting their tourism development. In this NRDDB also facilitated the advancement of their infrastructure.

The next community to be visited was Apoteri. Here the Team took the opportunity to document some farming and fishing practices for the orientors’ existence and flexibility. Uncle Romeo is turning into a champion for both these activities. His knowledge of fishing and farming proved quite interesting to the Team. It was with Uncle Romeo, while out at Yakatu Lake, that Grace caught her first fish – Skeet.

Uncle Romeo

The next community to be visited was to be Surama but in starting inquires with Yupukari to work with them to document the resistance orientor we were told that their camp fire night would be held the same day as we were going to Surama. The Team, therefore, split into two so that both communities could be worked in and we did not lose too much time.

In Yupukari, after lunch, Grace and Ryan visited a number of individuals to formalise interviews and discuss the topic of focus. These same individuals were also responsible for the preparation of the campfire and gathering of stories and skits to be presented for the night. Yupukari had initiated the camp fire as one way to transmit culture and traditional practice to their youths. Other cultural items were added to the program to entertain a student group that was visiting the community.

Mother, Daughter and twin Granddaughters:
Aunt Jean, Abigail, Susuie and Susuwana

In Surama, Lakeram, Rebecca and Deirdre had great discussions with Aunt Paulette and Aunt Jean. Aunt Jean heads the Surama Culture Group with her husband Glen and is very keen on passing on traditional knowledge and culture to the younger generations. We spoke to her and her daughter about the culture group and the benefits of teachning and learning about their traditions. Aunt Paulette is the farm expert. As a Makushi Researcher, she has spent lots of time tirelessly research Makushi traditions especially farming. Aunt Paulette was happy to share about the different changes that were occuring with Makushi farm practices and what makes them best practices.

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